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Posted: April 27, 2009  :

(RWire) Athletics: Scaled-Back More | Fitness Magazine Marathon + Half-Marathon Staged as a Celebration, Not a Competition

7,700 women of all ages take part in Central Park half-marathon fun-run on sultry morning

From Sara Hunninghake

NEW YORK - (April 26, 2009) - Three-time More Marathon champion Susan Loken intended to challenge her own event record in the More Magazine | Fitness Magazine Marathon + Half-Marathon on Sunday morning in Central Park. However, Mother Nature forced a last-minute change in plans.

In response to unseasonably warm race-day conditions, race officials made a prudent decision to cancel the marathon (26.2 miles) and conduct the half-marathon (13.1 miles) as an unscored, non-competitive event in which slower walkers were encouraged to exit the course after seven miles.

With an estimated 7,700 runners and walkers taking part on a warm and sunny morning in Central Park, the event continued its tradition of celebrating the health and fitness of women of all ages.

"New York Road Runners definitely made the right decision today," said Loken, 45, of Phoenix, AZ, who set the event record of 2:45:35 in 2005. "Today was all about the spirit of the event and ensuring the safety of all the runners and walkers."

The first athlete to cross the finish line was, as expected, 35-year-old Magdalena Lewy Boulet of Oakland, CA, who ran approximately 1:18:05 (exact times were not recorded) on a course consisting of two-plus loops of hilly Central Park. Lewy Boulet, the 2009 USA Half-Marathon champion, was the runner-up at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Women's Marathon Trials one year ago in Boston, and she represented the United States last August in Beijing.

"Given the heat, the goal was to do a good training run in Central Park, and I accomplished that," said Lewy Boulet. "It's always inspiring to be here in New York, and I got extra inspiration today from this event."

Lewy Boulet was accompanied for nearly the entire distance by Katarina Janosikova, 28, of Astoria, NY, who finished in second place, about 75 meters behind. "It was really great to run with Magdalena," said Janosikova, who is preparing for the ING Ottawa Marathon on May 23. "I knew who she was, and her strength and consistency helped me pace myself to a good performance."

Third place was declared a tie among Loken, her friend Susie Meyers-Kennedy, 43, of Chandler, AZ and Christine Glockenmeier, 41, of Basking Ridge, NJ. The three women crossed the finish line hand-in-hand and embraced in the post-finish area.

Loken and Meyers-Kennedy, who are both mothers, ran for Moms Running for More, a program that raises money to provide fitness opportunities for children and families. Glockenmeier, who has four children, won the 2008 NYRR Staten Island Half-Marathon.

"We helped each other the whole way," said Loken.

And she added, with a gesture that included not only her running partners but also the thousands of women still out on the course, "We're definitely all in this together."

CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux also ran in her first NYRR event, finishing in over three hours and providing Twitter updates throughout the race.

For more on the event, visit: NYRR.org.


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